In honour of today being Groundhog Day I was just going to repeat a post that you'd already seen before, but I thought that would be taking the proverbial. Besides, I have nothing about groundhogs. Swimming squirrels, yes, but not groundhogs.
It is the case, however, that in the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, they're relying on the local wildlife to predict the seasons. I'm led to believe that the mammal in question lives at Gobbler's Knob.
I have no further words to sensibly add in response to this particular bit of information.
Anyway, this year Punxsutawney Phil has not been able to see his shadow, which means that Spring is near. This will undoubtedly be good news to those people of American leaning I happen to know who are currently using snorkels as they walk about under eight-foot snowdrifts, saying "WTF?" to each other, knowingly.
What is less known is that the groundhog in question predicts far, far more than just the weather. A quick look at random February 2s over the past few decades shows some remarkable carryings-on:
2 February 1962 - Phil fails to see his shadow, but rattles his whiskers in an irritated manner. This has been seen as an accurate prediction of the invasion of English guitar-based pop groups.
2 February 1978 - Phil runs around in small circles. Flared trousers are due to go out of fashion.
2 February 1983 - Phil blinks fourteen times in rapid succession. Do not buy Betamax.
2 February 1984 - Phil tucks his front paws underneath his body. Experts aren't 100% sure whether this is a premonition of the decision of Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to retire, or the ending of Happy Days.
2 February 1986 - Phil does 'jazz hands'. Later that year,a revival in musical theatre occurs.
2 February 1996 - Phil walks backwards for 20 seconds. Alanis Morissette wins a Grammy award a mere three weeks later.
2 February 2005 - Phil chirrups while facing the assembled crowd. Frosted cupcakes become inexplicably popular later that very same year.
The signs are there if you know what to look for.